A new investigation by the Wall Street Journal says that Canada's employers are facing an aging workforce and need more lower-skilled immigrants to fill jobs. Farm and blue-collar labour jobs in Canada are going unfilled and preventing some employers from meeting demand for their product and growing their business.
Canada's merit-based immigration system favors highly skilled and educated immigrants who can help grow the local economy and create jobs. Meanwhile, Canadian employers say they are "struggling to fill positions for farmworkers, truck drivers and food service personnel."
The investigation shows economists and employers say there is a "mismatch" between available jobs and arriving immigrants.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which advocates for small businesses, has urged the government to broaden its immigration system to include more trade and semiskilled workers, said president and chief executive Dan Kelly.
Several of Canada's provinces have initiated efforts to address the mismatch. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot recruits foreign workers for truck driving and seamstress jobs in the eastern provinces.
In addition, the report continues, many foreign workers who arrive in Canada as temporary workers find the system to permanent residency complicated, and they are forced to leave jobs they have been trained for after learning English and integrating into the Canadian lifestyle because their work permit has expired.
"Canada is a safe, friendly and welcoming country that appreciates the contributions immigrants make to help our economy," said Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah. "Immigration law is becoming more complex and challenging every day. Immigration applications can be refused due to minor oversights and omissions that can delay or negatively impact your business or your family reunifications plans."